Safeguard the Children is a comprehensive program designed to promote a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults and prevent child sexual abuse. The program was initiated in all dioceses in theUnited Statesat the direction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). There is a Safeguard the Children (STC) Committee in each parish which helps to implement the objectives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."
Safeguard the Children Committee
OLA has an active Safeguard the Children Committee chaired by a parishioner. Other members include the Director of Religious Education, the school principal, the Director of Operations, the Pastoral Care Director, the Director of Faith Formation, the Director of Youth Ministry and the Director of Pastoral Ministries. The Director of the Sunday Preschool and two or more other volunteers complete the group. Meetings are held quarterly or more often as needed. View job description for Safeguard the Schildren Committee.
"Child Safe Zones" at Fiesta
During Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, plans were finalized for “Child Safe Zones” at Fiesta to be marked with the picture shown at right. Banners will be hung at the Information Booth, the Sweet Shop, the OLA School booth (coin toss game), and Youth Ministry booth (goldfish game). Adults who have been trained in child safety will be identified with matching badges and assigned to these booths. Instructions for child safety will be posted at every Fiesta booth and given to every volunteer. Adults are advised to watch for children who may be in danger or in need of a caring adult and to direct them to one of the “Child Safe Zones” identified by a banner. This plan is being implemented by members of the OLA Safeguard the Children Committee.
Our Mission Statement
Our name is our mission – to Safeguard the Children. To ensure the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual safety of our children, we are committed to making OLA a safe, trustworthy environment for our children by
- Training all volunteers who work with children to watch for and prevent potentially dangerous
situations and environments
- Training volunteers to recognize the signs of child abuse of any kind
- Educating our parish about child safety issues
- Setting and/or recommending parish policies and guidelines for parish programs and events for
for which involve interaction with children
- Assembling and making available resources on child safety
- Monitoring our parish for compliance with the national Charter of the Protection of Children
Requirements for Parish Clergy, Staff and Volunteers
In accord with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Our Lady of the Assumption parish leadership and Safeguard the Children Committee have developed Policies and Procedures for all volunteers at OLA parish and school.
- All OLA volunteers must read and agree to follow the “Archdiocese of Los Angeles Guidelines for Adults
Interacting with Minors at Parish or School Activities or Events.”
- All minors volunteering at OLA must read and agree to follow the "Boundary Guidelines For Junior High
and High School Youth Working or Volunteering with Children or Youth."
- All volunteers who work with or around children in any way are required to attend a VIRTUS session,
“Protecting God’s Children” adult awareness training session.
- Anyone who supervises or is perceived to supervise children in any way is required to submit to a
background check in the form of fingerprinting by the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Sign up for free
archdiocesan LiveScan fingerprinting or sources for local LiveScan locations.
- All OLA School and Religious Education students will take part annually in the ”Teaching Touching Safety”
or other approved safe environment education program.
Volunteer Ministry Opportunities
The Safeguard the Children committee chair welcomes inquiries from parishioners with backgrounds in social services, law enforcement, education, child health or legal issues who are interested in joining the committee.
- To register for a “Protecting God’s Children” adult awareness training session
- “Why Am I Here and What Is My Role in Protecting Children?” A handout for participants describing
the background of the Protecting God's Children program and the prescribed role for adults in the
faith community.Information on a broad variety of topics related to child abuse and child safety.
- Information on a broad variety of topics related to child safety and child abuse
- General Policies on Safe Environment
- Training Guidelines for Adults Interacting with Minors at Parish or School Activities or Events
- Boundary Guidelines for Junior High and High School Youth Working or Volunteering with
Children or Youth
- Responding to the Problem